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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Date published:
August 09, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Visconti to ride for Movistar in 2012

    Three - Visconti counts his tricolore
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 11:05 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian champion steps up to WorldTour level

    Movistar has confirmed that Giovanni Visconti will join the Spanish squad for 2012 and 2013 as the Italian national finally steps up to the WorldTour level in the hope of targeting the classics and short stage races.

    Visconti has stayed loyal to his mentor and friend Luca Scinto at the Farnese Vini team in recent years but has decided to move on for 2012. The Farnese Vini team is set to be built around sprinter Andrea Guardini and possible new signing Filippo Pozzato.

    “Last year I was close to changing teams (and joining Liquigas-Cannondale) but then I decided to stay to see if the team could step up a level. We hoped the team could secure a ProTeam licence but unfortunately it hasn’t happened,” Visconti told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "I'm sorry to cut my ties to Luca and (team manager) Angelo Citracca because they always helped me. Fortunately now that our professional relationship is over, we get on even better."

    Visconti admitted that he knows little about Spain or the Movistar team but plans to spend time there this winter and learn the language as soon as possible.

    "I've bought a Spanish phrase book because I want to learn the language. But I also want to understand the Spanish culture, their mentality and how they live. I'm going to go there for a month this winter with my family. I'm not worried about fitting in because they have a Latin culture and have a lot in common with Sicily, where I come from."

    "I've already talked to team manager Eusebio Unzue a lot. He wants to know me as a person as well as a rider. I think we're going to get on really well."

    Classics and stage races but first the world championships

    Visconti has yet to discuss his 2012 race...

  • Italians warn against the Worlds being decided in a sprint

    Italy rolled out a strong lineup in the elite men’s road race and controlled much of the 257.5 kilometre race. Unfortunately the few kilometres Italy didn’t control were the closing two and the team were shutout of the medals after looking like dominating proceedings earlier in the day.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 13:06 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Bennati, Modolo and Colli talk about the Copenhagen course

    This year's Worlds has been described as a sprinter's course but Italian riders Daniele Bennati, Sacha Modolo and Daniele Colli have warned that any eventual winner on September 25 will have to be far more than just a fast finisher.

    The 266km men's road race race starts with a 28km ride from the centre of Copenhagen to the circuit north of the city in Rudersdal. The men then face 17 laps of the 14km circuit. Each lap includes 105 metres of climbing but it is more the technical nature of the course and the rising finishing straight that caught the attention of the Italian riders.

    "Looking at it from a car or even on the bike during the race, it doesn't seem that hard. However it's definitely not like Zolder," Bennati told, referring to the pan flat Belgian motor racing circuit where Mario Cipollini won the world title in 2002.

    "The finish is at the top of a one kilometre straight road that climbs gradually. That will make it a tough sprint. The weather will be the unknown factor too. Staying protected will be vital and so will be the work of the team. If I was the leader of the Italian team, I'd need the speed in the finale to be as high as possible to avoid any surprises."

    Watch out for Freire, Gilbert and the wind

    Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox) won two stages at the Tour of Denmark last week and has been selected for Sunday's Olympic test event in London. He is also likely to secure a place in the nine-rider squad for the word championships, as Italy try to have as many options as possible in their team.

    Modolo is not a pure sprinter but knows how to fight for position and then can unleash a fast finish. He predicted that the pure sprinters could be in for a shock on...

  • Degenkolb and Martin to Skil-Shimano?

    John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) wins stage 4
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 14:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dutch Pro Continental squad seeks to bolster ranks

    Skil-Shimano's Iwan Spekenbrink has told Cyclingnews that any announcement over a possible signing of John Degenkolb will be made through official channels and at the appropriate time. The team boss has admitted that John Degenkolb is a rider he would be keen to sign, with HTC-Highroad set to wind up at the end of the season.

    Cyclingnews also understands that Spekenbrink is interested in signing a team leader, said to be Degenkolb's teammate Tony Martin. However Spekenbrink refused to comment on Martin specifically, only saying that he was a good rider and telling Cyclingnews that, "We are looking to sign a rider of his calibre if the opportunity is there."

    Like Degenkolb, Martin is on the market, as their contract for next year are void with HTC-Highroad ending.

    As for Degenkolb, who is one of the sport's most promising sprinters, Spekenbrink was more comfortable commenting on: "We've not made an official comment yet. What I can say is that Degenkolb is a very good rider and one that we're certainly...interested in. Hopefully we'll have more news in the coming weeks. A good agreement it depends on two sides. As soon as there is official news we'll make an official comment."

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi name their Vuelta shortlist

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was a deserving winner on the Zoncolan.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 15:19 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Strong line-up to support Igor Antón’s bid for the title

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has named a strong squad of riders to support Igor Antón’s bid for victory in the Vuelta a España, which starts in Benidorm on August 20. Winner of two stages in last year’s race and one in this year’s Giro d’Italia, specialist climber Antón will be among the favourites for the title over what is an extremely mountainous course.

    The Basque team has selected 10 riders for the race, one of whom will drop out of the line-up. In addition to Antón, Giro and Vuelta stage-winner Mikel Nieve also features, as does former Vuelta mountains champion Egoi Martinez. Also in contention for a place on the start-line in Benidorm are Gorka Verdugo, Amets Txurruka, Juan Jose Oroz, Iñaki Isasi, Pierre Cazaux, Jorge Azanza and Iván Velasco.

    Antón enjoyed very mixed fortunes in last year’s race. As well as winning two stages, he also held the leader’s red jersey, but crashed out while wearing it on the stage to Peña Cabarga, breaking his elbow when he appeared to touch wheels with a teammate. Martínez was also forced out in the same incident after suffering a dislocated collar bone.

    This year’s race will be especially significant for the Euskaltel team as it will be the first time the Vuelta has ventured into the Basque Country for 33 years. There are two key stages at the tail-end of the final week in the region where Euskaltel is based and from where it draws all of its riders.


  • Leipheimer chasing US time trial champion Zabriskie in Utah prologue

    Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) at the start
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 15:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Hesjedal a late withdrawal from race opener

    The Tour of Utah prologue should give some indication of just who will be the riders to watch when it comes to the general classification, with defending champion Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) last man out of the start gate just after 4pm local time.

    First off the blocks is Jason Donald (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optumhealth), who won the first stage of the 2008 edition of the race. The prologue kicks off at 2pm with riders departing at one minute intervals.

    One man down to start that won't however take part is Garmin-Cervelo's Ryder Hesjedal. Team boss Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews that the Canadian rode the Clasica San Sebastian, where he finished 2:05 behind winner Philippe Gilbert, following his appearance at the Tour de France and now simply needed the break. Hesjedal will not be replaced in the Garmin-Cervelo line up.

    While the 2010 edition of the Tour of Utah saw an uphill 4.5 kilometre prologue time trial course, this year the riders face a gruelling uphill two kilometres, which could result in some riders choosing to ditch their aero gear. The stage will begin with a quick downhill section before heading uphill at an average gradient of seven per cent on an access road to the top of the Nordic ski jump used during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

    Leipheimer will be chasing reigning US time trial champion Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo).


  • Gripper hails the wider introduction of the biological passport

    Anne Gripper
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 16:27 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Former UCI anti-doping chief praises Cadel Evans

    Anne Gripper has welcomed news that swimming’s international governing body (FINA) will introduce a biological passport system.

    Gripper, who led the UCI’s anti-doping programme until last year, oversaw one of the biggest anti-doping innovations the world of sport has ever seen, introducing a passport system that tracked a number of riders’ physically blood parameters rather than looking for traces of banned substances.

    Before she left the UCI in 2010 Gripper had overseen a number of doping cases using data from the passport. Since her departure no new cases have been opened by the UCI. Even though she no longer works in the field of anti-doping, Gripper still keeps a close eye on developments within the sport from Australia.

    “We’ll see more and more national programmes doing this,” Gripper told Cyclingnews when asked about FINA move to follow cycling and introduce a biological passport system.

    “I’m on the advisory board for our national anti-doping programme and it’s certainly high on their agenda to introduce the biological passport and it’s definitely the way for the future. I would ask any organisation to start doing it. It’s going to give us much better results with much more robust measures and as the concept develops we’ll be able to use it for steroids and other things as well, particularly when we get into the spectrum of genetic changes, then profiling will be absolutely essential to that.

    “My advice would be to come in and do targeted testing and collect the data.”

    Gripper’s wisdom and experience will be an invaluable ally in any war on doping. During the biological passport’s early days cycling had a deeply entrenched doping...

  • Hushovd moves to BMC Racing Team in 2012

    Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) wins his second stage of the 2011 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 18:37 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion signs for three years

    World road champion Thor Hushovd has signed with BMC Racing Team for 2012, the team announced today in a press release. After spending one season with Garmin-Cervelo, the 33-year-old Norwegian has signed a three-year contract with BMC.

    Hushovd recently had a very successful Tour de France, in which he won two stages and wore the leader's jersey for seven days. The two-time Tour de France points classification winner is looking forward to joining the American ProTeam.

    "It's a serious team where it looks like everything is well-organized," Hushovd said. "There's a plan put together for the riders for all the big and important races. Everyone knows what to do. That's a good thing."

    Hushovd said one ambition remains when it comes to his Classics career. "My biggest goal is still to win Paris-Roubaix. The BMC Racing Team has good riders to support me or for me to help someone else on the team win."

    BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said signing Hushovd fits perfectly into the future plans of the organization. "Thor brings a lot of qualities to us and complements other riders on the team in races like the Spring Classics and the Grand Tours," Ochowicz said. "We're very happy to have his talents, enthusiasm and expertise now working with the BMC Racing Team family for 2012 and beyond."

    Exact terms of Hushovd's contract are not being disclosed, Ochowicz said, other than the deal extends through the end of the 2014 season.

  • Chris King adds Campagnolo-compatible hubs to range

    Chris King's road-specific R45 hubs feature lower drag than the company's other models plus a modified RingDrive mechanism that also runs quieter.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 21:00 BST
    James Huang

    R45 now also available with ceramic bearings

    Among the features of Chris King's road-specific R45 hubs was the promise of Campagnolo compatibility afforded by the slightly smaller 17mm-diameter axle – and that day has finally arrived. Chris King will offer complete hubs and separate freehub bodies to fit the Italian cassette standard beginning January 2012.

    Also new for the R45 range is a ceramic bearing option to go along with the ceramic bottom bracket announced last month.

    Other features for the R45 are unchanged for 2012, including the 102/221g claimed front/rear weights (ceramic bearing equipped versions are 3-5g lighter), lower-friction 45-tooth RingDrive internal mechanism and bearing seals, 20/24/28/32-hole drilling options, generous five-year warranty, and your choice of ten anodized colors. Just as before, R45 hubs will also continue to be manufactured in Chris King's Portland, Oregon facility.

    This article first appeared on BikeRadar